Wisconsin’s Phosphorus Ban

Here’s a quick update on the phosphorus dishwasher detergent legislation going through Wisconsin.

Phosphorus is hard to shake (www.examiner.com)

On July 1 2009, the Wisconsin State Assembly referred a bill to ban phosphorus from dishwasher soap to the Senate’s Committee on Environment with the same reasoning behind the fertilizer ban almost four years ago. Several other states will enact laws banning phosphorus soaps by July 1, 2010. The Soap and Detergent Association, a trade organization that represents North American manufacturers of cleaning products, stated that they would be phosphorus free by that deadline.

So all is well. No more manufactured phosphorus polluting our environment.

The author of this piece, Brian Barger, seems to infer that this legislation is already enacted. From what we can tell, it’s not law yet. It has been passed from the Wisconsin Assembly and has been read through (WI-AB 281). We think it will go through but it’s not there yet.

Here’s an interesting link:

On their site, they have an article about phosphates in dishwashing detergent:


Claim: The environmental impact of detergent “alternatives” will be lower than that of laundry detergents because no chemicals are used.

Fact: Washing with detergent “alternatives” will have the same environmental impact as washing with water alone. But then, they only get clothes as clean as washing with clean water.

…As a result, it is totally false and misleading to describe laundry detergents as being toxic or pollutants. They are designed to go down the drain when their cleaning job is done, and be safely treated in municipal sewage treatment facilities or in septic tank systems. Detergents and their ingredients are well researched by toxicologists and environmental scientists, their fate in the environment is known, and they can be used by consumers with confidence in their human and environmental safety.

Interesting. The debate goes on!

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